A few years ago, a tax preparation company used “You’ve got people!” as a tagline. Their TV commercials showed a satisfied client bragging “I’ve got people,” confident and at ease that they had a trusted tax experts in their corner. This really resonated with me, having just retired from corporate life to launch an “encore career” of coaching, change management consulting, and teaching. It became quickly clear to me that going solo doesn’t mean going it alone. We ALL need help from others.
Corporate life offers infrastructure that is often taken for granted – office space, structure, steady work flow, and a regular paycheck with benefits. Support for payroll, accounting, IT, and HR are all taken care of by the “mother ship” employer. Replacing all those benefits and services required me to either do it myself or “outsource” (ask for help).
Outsourcing those things I don’t know how to do, am not good at, or are outside my core business focus led to creation of my professional “Team for Success.” I sought and engaged professional help from a CPA, a web designer, a financial advisor and (of course) a coach. A sense of relief comes from knowing “I’ve got people!”
A Team for Success can be much more than just tactical, transactional vendor-client relationships. The Team for Success should also be of strategic importance, by partnering with trusted colleagues who do similar or complementary work for brainstorming, collaboration, and especially for referrals. And, this means you also are on the other’s Team for Success, too, adding value for everyone by strengthening and extending networks.
You probably have a Team for Success of your own in some measure right now. Think what might happen if you take a more formal approach to develop your team. If this concept intrigues you, I offer some actions to consider:
- Be curious. Honestly assess your current situation. Who are your “people” now, on your current team?
- Determine gaps. What skill set, expertise, tools, information or support would be most helpful? Where are you block or feeling stuck? What do you really want? (See my earlier blog about Asking for Help)
- Ask for help. Identify who you want on your success team, then get their support. Paid or unpaid, formal or informal, seek and receive assistance by hiring, bartering, partnering, or networking. (Remember: “don’t ask, don’t get!”)
- Reciprocate. Whose success team are you on? Whose team do you want to join? Where can you bring value and be of service? Offer to be on their team.
- Rinse, Repeat. Continue developing your own Team for Success. It’s a process not an event.
No matter the context of life, great satisfaction can come from confidently saying “I’ve got people!”
So, who are your “people”– your Team for Success?